For example, when I learn some new computer code or library, I build a representation in my head as I go. Many of the gaps are filled by intuition, because things that are designed for a purpose usually make sense. Pieces of the puzzle loosely come together. Then I would pick a specific area and testing my understanding, by verifying some detail in the documentation.
On the other hand, when learning in “directed” fashion, such as in a maths class, there was less room for jumping ahead. Instead the bricks were laid one by one for us by the instructor.
I still continue to learn on mathematics topics to this day, but found it much more challenging (possibly because I have a job ;-). Piecing the puzzle from various sources of information gets in the way of the learning itself. Even when information is already laid out in a linear format for you, in a tutorial for example, it often has some implicit expectation or dependency on prior knowledge from the reader.
The question is how could we structure our body of knowledge in a way that facilitates assimilation by the reader. The problem becomes harder as the sources of information multiply and incoherent (not aligned), as it is the case for the internet (in comparison with a class or a book).